What unnatural hand or eye
Might carve the shape of what we are from reason?
Our hearts are always leaping, screaming
Red eyed in the dark and fleeing
Fearful symmetry of tooth and claw
In the forest of life and life’s opposing dark.
Beyond the cave the tiger waiting
Eyes burn bright incisors gleaming
The city argues whether God might live
While all the gods that live inside us laugh.
I am unreason. I
Am the twenty harebrained,
Rootless, futile things you do
For each one considered, reasoned action
In the space of a thousand heartbeats.
You, the ape
With the femur of an ox:
Without me you are nothing.
The sensible world of integers
Appals you still and yet
You fear death more
Than you fear wasting life
And in that snuffling, scratching, hairy presence
You blink, pretending not to see
And say, I never noticed really.
Ideas that rule your time, like certain stones
Passed down from hand to hand,
Polished by time, or else uncertain
Spiky shapes that,
New to the memetic dance, crawl
Fresh hatched from the ancient ocean darkness.
Wave after wave washed over, all the
Rushing, crashing, sucking back,
Declining of the hissing salty shingle.
The generations wear the pebbles smooth.
Men that drown out in that ocean
Find doomed return on tides that drifting
Spit the swollen, whitened flesh
On unknown shores to pop like seaweed;
The empty socket skulls protesting still
That really wasn’t what we meant at all.
Whales know a world we never can
The caverns measureless to man are
Ceilinged with saltwater and sky beyond
But any sea will someday dry.
Leaving a planet rude and barren
Cetaceous bones in deep, dry canyons,
The last remains unwitnessed and undreaming
Finally bleached free of meaning
The hairless ape is dust, forgotten.